Sci Rep. 2021 Mar 31;11(1):7282. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-85227-0.
Favipiravir is considered a potential treatment for COVID-19 due its efficacy against different viral infections. We aimed to explore the safety and efficacy of favipiravir in treatment of COVID-19 mild and moderate cases. It was randomized-controlled open-label interventional phase 3 clinical trial [NCT04349241]. 100 patients were recruited from 18th April till 18th May. 50 patients received favipiravir 3200 mg at day 1 followed by 600 mg twice (day 2-day 10). 50 patients received hydroxychloroquine 800 mg at day 1 followed by 200 mg twice (day 2-10) and oral oseltamivir 75 mg/12 h/day for 10 days. Patients were enrolled from Ain Shams University Hospital and Assiut University Hospital. Both arms were comparable as regards demographic characteristics and comorbidities. The average onset of SARS-CoV-2 PCR negativity was 8.1 and 8.3 days in HCQ-arm and favipiravir-arm respectively. 55.1% of those on HCQ-arm turned PCR negative at/or before 7th day from diagnosis compared to 48% in favipiravir-arm (p = 0.7). 4 patients in FVP arm developed transient transaminitis on the other hand heartburn and nausea were reported in about 20 patients in HCQ-arm. Only one patient in HCQ-arm died after developing acute myocarditis resulted in acute heart failure. Favipiravir is a safe effective alternative for hydroxychloroquine in mild or moderate COVID-19 infected patients.